Explained: Strategic significance of bridge China is building on Pangong Tso

What is the News?

The ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh has led to the construction of infrastructure on both sides of the India-China border. One of the latest constructions is a bridge being built by China on the Pangong Tso. 

Where is China building the bridge?

China is building the bridge on the north bank of the Pangong Tso and the Chushul sub-sector on the south bank.

The bridge is around 20 km east of Finger 8 on the north bank(In India’s perception, the Line of Actual Control lies at Finger 8).

The site of the bridge is within India’s claim line, although the area has been under Chinese control since 1958.

How will this bridge help China?

The main objective appears to be the quick mobilization of PLA troops between the two banks at one of the lake’s narrowest points. 

The Kailash range is around 35 km west of the bridge site. Earlier, when India had carried out its operation, Chinese troops could not mobilize as quickly as they might have wanted.

But once this bridge gets completed, it will enable Chinese troops to simply cross over, slashing travel time to Kailash range from about 12 hours to about four hours.

What is India’s response?

The Indian Government has been monitoring the bridge construction activity closely. This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now.

Hence, India is taking all necessary steps to ensure that our security interests are fully protected.

Moreover as part of these efforts, the budget for the development of border infrastructure has been significantly increased and more roads and bridges have been completed than ever before.

Read more: Disengagement agreement at Pangong Tso Lake – Explained

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Explained: Strategic significance of bridge China is building on Pangong Tso’ published in Indian Express on 22nd January 2022.

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